Ronda Rousey may be undefeated as a mixed martial arts fighter, but no title she can garner will compare to the one she failed to win — Olympic gold.
Rousey, a 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist who has since become 12-0 as a professional MMA fighter and next fights Nov. 15, was asked Tuesday what motivates her.
“I still get it from never winning the Olympics,” she said. “That was my childhood dream. I spent my whole life in pursuit of that. I had to give that up, and I had to really come to terms with the fact that wasn’t for me. I’ve always really been heartbroken from that in a way, and in a way that I’m still really grateful for because I think if I did win the Olympics, I wouldn’t have this never-ending resource of motivation that I have. Every single time I go out there to defend my title, it’s like another chance to redeem myself, but it’s never quite an Olympic gold medal, and that’s how I really stay motivated.
“In judo, you train your whole life, and you have one day to be an Olympic champion, and that’s it. … Nothing can compare to that pressure.”
MORE ROUSEY: Kayla Harrison recalls how Rousey left judo